Applications are being accepted for the award-winning Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Citizens Fire Academy. This year’s academy is scheduled to begin in February 2014, with graduation scheduled for May. Over the past 14 years, more than 500 Las Vegas valley residents have completed the academy. The program has been recognized and is part of the U.S. Fire Corps program.
The Citizens Fire Academy first began in the year 2000 with 50 participants. The program is designed to teach interested people about the workings of the fire and emergency services in their community. Various speakers from Las Vegas Fire & Rescue and support organizations such as the Trauma Intervention Program and American Red Cross give insight on how the organizations operate and how residents can get involved and help their community.
In the summer of 2005, the program became part of the U.S. Fire Corps program. The U.S. Fire Corps is a locally-driven Citizen Corps program that allows community members to offer their time and talents to their local fire departments. Fire Corps serves as a gateway to information for and about fire department programs and meets a citizen's desire to serve as well as a department's need for support. Members of the Las Vegas Fire Corps are volunteers who assist the fire department in a number of functions including; assisting with answering telephones, passing out flyers in a neighborhood during or after a disaster, assisting in shelters, manning canteen or emergency food centers, and acting as victims for disaster and emergency training exercises. The members also learn how to make their home and community safer through simple training on the use of fire extinguishers, first aid and CPR.
The Citizens Fire Academy will meet once each week on Thursday evenings for three hours starting Feb. 27, 2014. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a field day where they will receive some hands-on training and demonstrations, and do a ride along with an actual fire crew to see how emergency calls are handled. A graduation ceremony with all honors will be held for those who complete the academy which is scheduled for May 8.
At least 12 past graduates have gone on to become professional firefighters with fire departments. In addition, at least four are now wildland firefighters in other parts of the country and a number have volunteered their services with the Trauma Intervention Program and the American Red Cross. Others have volunteered to be victims during a number of past fire department training simulations.
Applications for the academy are available at Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Headquarters, located at 500 N. Casino Center Blvd., or they can be retrieved online at www.lasvegasfire.org. The application can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed back to fire officials. Instructions are included in the application package. There is no cost for the program.
Applications will be accepted from now until Jan. 10, 2014, and applicants will be notified by mail if they are accepted in early February. The academy will be limited to 20 participants.
More information is available on the Citizens Fire Academy Hotline at (702)229-0146.